It’s been over a week now, and we are still alive. The unthinkable happened, and no amount of marching, or signing petitions, or sharing angry posts on FB is going to change this nightmare scenario that has come to pass – at least not right away. As we get over our grief, rage, horror, sadness, fear and exhaustion, we must decide – where do we go from here. I have outlined 10 ways to make a difference now.
I am preparing to fight for the next four years. The incoming administration is not a normal Republican, we are facing levels of corruption on a scale we have never before seen in this country. Yes be nice to everyone, but this incoming administration is hell bent on eliminating environmental protections that have kept our land, sea and air safe for us all, and he (the one who asked seven times why we cannot use nuclear weapons during a recent military briefing) has access to the most annihilating weapons in the world. We are facing a man who is the least-qualified person to hold the Presidency who has praised dictators, who is openly supported by the KKK and white supremacists, who refuses to release information about his taxes or business holdings, who has incalculable conflicts of interest, who has admitted to sexual assault, who is openly trying to castrate pillars of journalism, and who, for the first time ever – has an official propaganda outlet in Breitbart news.
Kindness is good, inclusiveness and standing up for our fellow citizens is absolutely necessary, but much more is required.
On the outside, I am a white, 58 year-old, tall, skinny, blonde (please no comments here from my hair colorist), happily-married, Pilates-loving, animal owning, college-educated, introverted woman who is still wearing an “I Am With Her” Hillary t-shirt, and living in Blue state California. But on the inside, I am a woman warrior.
Once I crawl out of this whole of despondency and horror, (Obama gave us until Thanksgiving, so I’m heeding his advice. If you haven’t yet, take a look at his comments. They are always eloquent and inspiring, but here – perhaps because I need to know how to make a difference, they are especially so), I will make an action plan. When I do, I will let you know what I intend to do. In the meantime, other people have already written eloquently on immediate next steps.
What is your plan?
10 Ways to Make a Difference
Register Disenfranchised People to Vote
A brilliantly articulate and fierce blogger is going to focus her energies on registering Native Americans to vote, and helping them get to polling locations (of which there was exactly ONE for the entire Navajo nation last week.)
Contact Government officials
Contact your Senators, Representatives. Let them know what you think! Hold them to account. Let them know you are watching, and thank them when they speak out on your behalf.
A practical guide to get your Congressperson’s attention, from a former staffer.
Donate to Planned Parenthood
A bright woman started a GoFundMe page to do just that.
Donate to organizations that are going to be under pressure during the coming Administration
A list of Pro-Woman, Pro-Immigrant, Pro-Earth, Anti-Bigotry Organizations. Give what you can, as often as you can.
Support Investigative Journalism
I am copying Dan Rather here, as he says it best:
So if you want to know what you can do, please choose to support the press. If you find a news source you like and you think it is doing a good job, pay for the subscription. This doesn’t just help the bottom line but it is a vote of confidence in the system. Share smart, thoughtful pieces on social media and in emails to your friends. Let’s run up the clicks and views of the best of journalism. Also, I think we can not be passive with our news any longer. If you like what you see, let the publicans and journalists know through all the digital tools at your disposal. If you don’t like what you’re seeing, let them know as well. Or turn it off, refuse to follow the click bait.
The press is a vital partner in out democratic process. It is under incredible strains from a drastically changing media landscape and a potentially hostile in-coming administration. As citizens we should care deeply about this and vow to do something to help.
If you haven’t already, subscribe to the New York Times, or the Washington Post, or donate to ProPublica, a non-profit, nonpartisan investigative journalism organization. These institutions must be operating at full capacity for us to make a difference.
Support Science (now that our government won’t anymore)
The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) is just one worthy recipient. Find one you love and support it.
A list of organizations that need your time. If she’s old enough – bring your daughter, and demonstrate to her that there are ways that she can make a difference.
Find Inspiring Voices
There are many fierce and brilliant women out there who are writing. Find them and read them. Share what you read. Here’s Amy Schumer, Virginia Heffernan, Lena Dunham, Mikki Halpin Alyssa Mastromonaco (Obama’s former Deputy Chief of Staff) Cup of Jo blogger, Joanna Goddard and Gloria Steinem to get started. Here’s Hugo Schwyzer, a man worth reading now as well about why he’s not going to calm down, and the New York Times’ Nicholas Kristof in a great piece he wrote today (11/17) in which he recommends getting involved on the state and local level, among other things.
Take Care of Yourself
This is very big for me, and for many, many people I know. When I am sad, I cannot eat, or sleep and I don’t exercise. We need to be strong, so here are some tips. Remember, self care is resistance. I got to the gym yesterday and today, and I feel much better. Being around my dog, horses and chickens helps too. I am also deeply grateful I have a smart, level-headed husband (a former life-long Republican) who is just as outraged as I am, understands what we are facing and is who takes better care of me (making me eat, getting me to the gym, reminding me that this is like a death, so grief is natural) than I probably deserve .
I’ve found opportunities to laugh few and far between this last week, but here are a couple good ones. And of course, laughter is great medicine. Biden and Obama memes. Preparing for a Trump Presidency.
Participate in the Women’s March on Washington on Saturday, January 21, 2017 to show solidarity. Bring your daughter, your niece, your granddaughter, your sister, your mother and your friends. Showing up in big numbers will help make a difference.
Don’t Spread Fake News
Fake news was key in defeating the Democrats this cycle, and it is everywhere. Here’s a guide to help you decipher what is real and what is not, and here is a guide listing specific sites to avoid from a college professor.
Please consider sharing this post. Click on one of the boxes below to share on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest. Copy the URL and email it to your friends. Thank you. I need you. We need each other. It’s going to be a long battle, but we need to each find ways to make a difference. Let’s get FIERCE!!